Top Menu

Flying Squirrels ballpark plan advances

Proposed Richmond ballpark

The Richmond City Council voted 6-3 tonight to advance a controversial Shockoe Bottom plan for a new Richmond Flying Squirrels (Class AA; Eastern League) ballpark and other development for further negotiations.

The vote came after a long night of testimony, featuring those who argue the ballpark plan, coupled with associated economic development both in Shockoe Bottom and the current Diamond ballpark site, represents needed investments in the city. Opponents say placing a ballpark at a historically sensitive area once housing the slave trade — including slave-trade businesses located on the ballpark site — is culturally unacceptable and an insult to the memories of the slave and their descendants.

The vote was 6-3. For most of the remaining votes on the economic development plan, six votes will be needed. Tonight’s vote was not a direct vote on the ballpark per se; rather, it authorized Mayor Dwight Jones and his staff to continue working on the development plan and negotiate the particulars. The Flying Squirrels have already stepped up to offer one of the highest rents we’ve seen in Minor League Baseball — some $1.7 million annually — and developers will be working on plans for other parts of the Shockoe Bottom redevelopment, including housing, retail, office space and a Kroger grocery store. Baseball per se really isn’t the issue here: the issue is culturally sensitive development versus a mayor wanting to upgrade a borderline area of his city.

RELATED STORIES: Votes on new Richmond ballpark set to start next week; Flying Squirrels add more locals to ownership; Richmond ballpark revenues could be used for other purposes; Richmond ballpark opponents: Map used to justify location is inaccurate; Richmond purchase of Diamond: Making way for Shockoe Bottom ballpark; Alternative plan pitched for Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom: No new ballpark; Flying Squirrels lease: $1.7M annually; naming rights could lower that number; Squirrels ballpark plan include hotel, apartments, grocery; Richmond quietly positions for new ballpark; Activists: Ballpark not best use for Shockoe Bottom; Poll: Squirrels home should be built next to current ballpark; Richmond: No vote on ballpark location; Flying Squirrels: Fans don’t know what they are missing; Richmond committee: Don’t put ballpark location to vote; Richmond ballpark location may be decided by voters; New Richmond ballpark: on or off?; Shockoe Bottom gaining momentum as Flying Squirrels ballpark site?; Progress made on new Richmond ballpark: McEacharn; MiLB squirrelly about new Richmond ballpark; Flying Squirrels: New ballpark still a priority; Flying Squirrels extend Diamond lease, setting stage for ballpark improvements; Experts: Downtown ballpark could revitalize Richmond; Squirrels: No plans to leave Richmond “at the present time”; Didn’t take long: Opposition rises to Richmond Shockoe Bottom ballpark siteRichmond ballpark discussion shifts back to Shockoe Bottom; Manchester in play as well; Richmond: Yes, we really do intend on building a new ballparkBudget issues postpone Squirrels ballpark to 2015 at the earliestNew Richmond ballpark by 2014?; DiBella: Time to start talking new ballpark; Flying Squirrels throw out first offer on new ballpark


Share your news with the baseball community. Send it to us at

Are you a subscriber to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter? You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.

Join Ballpark Digest on Facebook and on Twitter!

Follow Ballpark Digest on Google + and add us to your circles!

, , , ,